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Satya Prakash and ors. Vs. Balram Bhasin - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTenancy
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberSecond Appeal No. 258 of 1980
Judge
Reported in20(1981)DLT1; 1981RLR268
ActsDelhi Rent Control Act, 1958 - Sections 14(1)
AppellantSatya Prakash and ors.
RespondentBalram Bhasin
Advocates: V.S. Andley,; Rajinder Mathur and; S.K. Puri, Advs
Excerpt:
.....misuse as claimed by land and development officer (ldo) till ldo gave final date for stopping of misuse - misuse stopped but payment of amounts not made - one of alternative conditions complied with - eviction cannot be claimed - sitting in second appeal high court not to see whether concerned amount can be recovered by appellant-landlord. - - if he failed in either respect he was liable to be evicted. as damages for unauthorised constructions for the period november 19, 1965 to may 15, 1978 within one month from today but in case of the failure of the appellant either to pay the misuse charges and damages for unautaorised constructions within one month from today or stop using the premises for non-conformining purposes within one month from today, then eviction order on the..........with regard to the ground under clause (k) the rent controller passed a conditional order of eviction on october 18, 1976. the conditional order was to the effect that the respondent should pay the stated sum of money as damages for misuse of the premises and damages for some unauthorised construction within a specified period, remove the unauthorised structured and stop the misuse of the premises by using the same as commercial within a specified period. if he does so he would not liable to be evicted, otherwise he was liable to suffer eviction. aggrieved by this order the respondent filed an appeal before the rent control tribunal the respondent's appeal was partly accepted. as far as unauthorised structure was concerned it was stated that the same had since been demolished. the.....
Judgment:

Prakash Narain, J.

(1) This second appeal is directed against the older of the Rent Control Tribunal allowing the appeal of the tenant who was sought to be evicted in execution of a conditional eviction order passed against him. Briefly stated the facts of the case are these.

(2) The respondent is a tenant under the appellant of certain premises in Connaught Circus, New Delhi on a rent of Rs. 100.00 per month. These premises are in a building constructed over a plot of land which is on lease from the President of India to the appellant and the use of the building is controlled by the terms of the lease. One of the terms of the lease admittedly is that the ground floor of the building in Connaught Circus will be used for commercial purposes and the first and the second floors will be used for residential purposes. The respondent is in occupation of the premises which are to be used for residential purposes. On the ground that the respondent was using the premises in his possession in violation of the terms .of the lease granted of the land in Gonnaught Circus to the appellant and also on the ground that he had not paid the rent due to him an eviction petition was filed against the respondent by the appellant on March 21, 1972 by invoking the provisions of clauses (a) & (k) of the proviso to Sub-Section (1) of Section 14 of the Delhi Rent Control Act, 1958 (hereinafter called 'the Act').

(3) Inasmuch as the respondent complied with the order passed under Section 15(1) of the said Act, the ground available under clause (a) ceased to exist and the petition on that ground was dismissed. With regard to the ground under clause (k) the Rent Controller passed a conditional order of eviction on October 18, 1976. The conditional order was to the effect that the respondent should pay the stated sum of money as damages for misuse of the premises and damages for some unauthorised construction within a specified period, remove the unauthorised structured and stop the misuse of the premises by using the same as commercial within a specified period. If he does so he would not liable to be evicted, otherwise he was liable to suffer eviction. Aggrieved by this order the respondent filed an appeal before the Rent Control Tribunal The respondent's appeal was partly accepted. As far as unauthorised structure was concerned it was stated that the same had since been demolished. The Rent Control Tribunal by an order dated October 30, 1979 directed payment of damages for un-authorised construction within one month, payment of the charges for misuse of the premises for commercial purposes and stoppage of the commercial use of the premises also with regard to which made certain directions. I shall presently have an occasion to read that order at some length. On October 28, 1979 the respondent moved an application to record satisfaction of the terms of the order dated October 30, 1979. This application was ordered to come up for hearing on February 8, 1980. In the meanwhile, on December 7, 1979 the appellant filed an application for execution of the order dated October 30, 1979. It was stated in the said application that the respondent had neither paid the moneys stipulated in the order of October 30, 1979 nor stopped misuses of the premises. Warrants of possession were issued on this application. When the warrants of possession were sought to be executed the premises were found to be locked. thereforee, on January 2, 1980 an application was moved by the appellant for permission to break open the locks and make forcible entry into the premises in question. This application was allowed on January 8, 1980. The warrants of execution were sought to be executed on January 21, 1980 by breaking open the lock. Commission was taken of the premises except of one room when the respondent is said to have appeared on the site. As the respondent could not show any receipt for payment for money and contended that he had stopped the misuse of the premises and thus complied with the order dated October 30, 1979, the baliff sealed the one room and deposited the key in Court. On February 1, 1980 the appellantm oved the Court that he may be handed over the key of the sealed portion and allowed to take its possession. On March 5, 1980 .the executing Court allowed the application dated February 1, 1980 moved by the appellant and directed possession of the room to be given to the appellant. The respondent appealed against this order. The appeal was heard by the Rent Control Tribunal (Coram: Shri V.S. Aggarwal). The appeal was allowed and it was held that on proper construction of the order dated October 30, 1979 if the tenant had stopped the misuse though not paid the damages for unauthorised structures or charges for misuser, the tenant was not liable to suffer eviction. Aggrieved against that order the appellant has filed the present appeal.

(4) Before me the contention is that the respondent had to comply with the order October 30, 1979 by both paying the moneys stipulated in that order and also stopping the misuse of the premises. If he failed in either respect he was liable to be evicted. The view taken by the Rent Control Tribunal that the tenant could comply with either of the two has been assailed. It, thereforee, becomes necessary to read the order of the Rent Control Tribunal dated October 30, 1979 at some length. The relevant part reads as under :-

'I, hence, allow this appeal partially and direct the appellant to pay to the landlord or deposit in court a sum of Rs. 21,090.56p as misuse charges for the period January 15, 1972 to January 14, 1980 within one month from today and pay to the landlord or deposit in court a sum of Rs. 9595.60P. as damages for unauthorised constructions for the period November 19, 1965 to May 15, 1978 within one month from today but in case of the failure of the appellant either to pay the misuse charges and damages for unautaorised constructions within one month from today or stop using the premises for non-conformining purposes within one month from today, then eviction order on the ground covered by clause (k) shall be deemed to have been passed against the appellant. In case the Lado imposes any penalties for condoning the breaches iu future, then the landlord shall inform the tenant about such amounts and the tenant in that case shall either pay to the landlord such amounts of penalities within one month from the date of such communication or stop using the promises for commercial purposes within one month from the date of such communication but in case of the tenant's failure either to pay the amounts of penalties or stop using the premises for commercial purposes within one month, then eviction order on the ground covered by clause (k) shall be deemed to have been passed against the appellant. In case the Lado Fines any particular target date by which the misuse must be stopped then the landlord shall inform the appellant about such decision of the Lado to the tenant and the tenent in that case shall stop using the premises for commercial purposes within one month from the date of such information but in case of his failure to do so, then eviction order on the ground covered by clause (k) shall be deemed to have been passed against the appellant. However, in case the respondent fails to apply to the Lado to get the breaches condoned, after receiving the amounts from the appellant, then eviction petition on this ground covered by clause (k) shall be deemed to have been dismissed'.

(5) Learned counsel for the appellant urged that respondent has to do two things by November 30, 1979, namely, stop ihe misuse of the premises and also to pay to the appellant or deposit in Court the sum of Rs. 21,090.96 and Rs. 3,398.60. Admittedly, the two amounts have not been paid or deposited in Court. thereforee, irrespective of whether the respondent has or has not stopped the misuser, on a true construction of the order dated October 30,1979, the respondent is liable to suffer eviction. It is submitted, on a reference to Iyer's Compilation known as 'Law Terms & Pharases' that the word 'either' in the context means 'both' though in other context may mean 'one or the other'. So in the context in which the word 'either' has been used in the order dated October 30, 1979, it means both the terms above mentioned had to be complied by the respondent. There can be no quarrel with the proposition that ihe word 'either', depending upon the context can- mean 'both' or can mean 'one or the other'. The question is in what context this word has been used in the order of Oetober 30, 1979.

(6) I have already read the relevant part of the order at some length. I have no doubt that the word 'either' and 'or' have been used to mean one or the other and not both. In the present case the contention is that nonpayment of the two amounts results in making the respondent liable to eviction. If one examines the contention from a slightly different point of view the fallacy of the argument would become apparent. Suppose the respondent had paid the two amounts but had not stopped the misuser, would he have been liable to eviction The answer is obviously to be in the negative in view of the Tribunal's direction for payment of charges or damages for misuse as claimed by the Land & Development Officer in future, till such time as the Land & Development Officer gave a final date for stopping of the misuser. If this is the correct approach then in the converse situation if the misuse has been stopped but payment of the amounts has not been made, one of the two alternative conditions have been complied with and eviction cannot be claimed.

(7) The learned counsel for the appellant then submits that infact misuse has not been stopped. This aspect is not commented upon in the Tribunal's order under appeal. It seems it was not pressed. Coming to the order of the Additional Rent Controller dated March 5, 1980 from which order the appeal was taken to the Tribunal, one finds that there is almost an admission by the appellant that misuse bad been stopped. The Additional Rent Controller had come to the conclusion that both the conditions of the order of October 30, 1979 had to be complied with and mere stoppage of misuse did not exonerate the respondent from the liability to be evicted. There is colletaral evidence to show that misuse was stopped in time and that is to be found in the applifationdattd November 26, 1979 moved by the respondent. I hat this application has not yet been decided is a matter of some regret. Mr. S. K. Puri, Advocate appearing for respondent maintains that the application has already been decided. However, it is not something on which I need comment as there is no clear cut date available in rflis regard. So it as it may ficm the tenerd of the order of the Additional Rent Controller, Delhi dated March 5, 1980, it appears that the issue regarding stoppage of misuse was not alive. The only point in issue was' whether in addition to stoppage of misuse the amounts also had to be paid in terms of the order dated October 30, 1979. I have already expressed my opinion in this regard earlier. I, thereforee, find no force in the appeal.

(8) It is not for this Court sitting in second appeal filed under the provisions of Delhi Rent Control Act to see whether this amount can or cannot be recovered by the appellant. Non-payment of the amount is admitted. The only point for consideration is whether non-payment of the amount would make the respondent liable to eviction. That is the only point which I decide.

(9) My attention is invited to the order of the Additional Rent Controller, Delhi dated March 5, 1980 by which he has disposed of two applications. One of the respondent dated February 8, 1980 (presumably taken on February 8, 1980 but moved earlier) for restoration of the room of which possession was taken by the appellant and delivery of key oi the room which was under lock and seal, and the other that of the appellant for possession of the room under Jock and seal. The order held respondent liable to be evicted and thereforee, his application stood dismissed while the appellant's application stood granted. On appeal by the respondent the Rent Control Tribunal accepted the contention of the respondent that he was not liable to eviction and dismissed the eviction petition of the appellant which had been decided finally by the conditional order dated October 30, 1979. In this view of the matter, I direct the appellant to put the respondent into possession of the room of which possession was taken by the appellant on January 21, 1980 and also direct that the key of the room under lock and seal should be delivered by the executing Court on proper application to the respondent. The appeal is disposed of in terms of the above order. No costs.


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